Sep 09, 2015 07:50 PM EDT
The latest satellite images that represent the one-meter increase in sea level is inevitable over the next one to two centuries, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Ice sheets the size of Queensland is melting faster than expected in Greenland and Antartica. Experts have fear this may cause massive storm surge that is capable of wiping out the coastal cities of Australia. In addition, warming and expanding activities of the ocean have increased compared with the past.
NASA's Earth Science Director, Michael Freilich admitted that the rising of sea levels will create "profound impacts" globally. He cited an example like in Asia, more than 150 million people are lived within one meter of present sea level. He further revealed that some major cities are at risk as well, which may entirely eliminate some Pacific island nation."
"The implications of rising sea levels are quite serious because a one metre rise would cause serious disruptions not just to people on low-level islands but to infrastructure and the economy in countries that have a coastline," said Dr. Steve Rintoul of Common Wealth and Industrial Research Organization.
An 8-cm rise in ocean level has already been evident since 1992. In fact, this went as high as approximately 23 cm in some areas. Melting ice and glaciers are the primary sources of this extra water.
NASA launched a new mission, OMG mission, to prepare netizens worldwide. The program aims to examine the melting of Greenland's ice from below by exploring the impact of ocean currents and temperature as well as to forecast the speed of melting.
"In Greenland, everything got warmer at the same time: the air, the ocean surface, the depths of the ocean... we don't really understand which part of that warming is having the biggest effect on the glaciers," Ian Joughin, a glaciologist from the University of Washington, said.
Greenland is not only the place people should pay attention to because Antartica is making experts worrisome as well. A recent research revealed that two deep troughs have been found that displays similar melting pattern in West Antartica where warm ocean water goes to the base of the glacier and melts the ice sheets.
If this is true, Dr. Ian Allison from the University of Tansmania feared this will not only cause sea levels to rise but could also result to more storms. "If sea levels were to go up to 50 cms there are many parts of the world where a storm surge height that might have only occurred once every hundred years might occur almost weekly," he said.
Dr. Allison believes that the studies conducted by NASA are essential to prepare the world for the impending doom. "I think we have known for a while that the ices sheets that contributed to sea level what we haven't been able to do are very accurately project how we are going to respond in the future... Studies like this are addressing that problem by trying to understand the processes and the vulnerable paths," he said.
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